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Motoring news

Audi’s new Q cars

April 12 2017

Another week, another new Audi. Two new Audis, in fact. The German car maker has announced a couple more additions to its Q line up of SUVs. The Q4 is a coupe-SUV hybrid that will go up against the BMW X4 and Mercedes GLC Coupe. As its name suggests, it’ll be positioned between the compact Q3 and bigger Q5. At the other end of the scale is the Q8, which will go head to head against the Range Rover. It’s lower and sleeker than the Q7 Audi is also producing. In concept form, it sat only four people, although it seems likely the production version will be a five seater. There’s a 630 litre boot as well. Eagle eyed Audi followers will notice the only SUV slots left to fill are the Q1 and Q6. Watch this space...

Readers' letters

So many near misses approaching bridge

April 15 2013

Sir, I sincerely hope that when the roadworks are complete at Dundee’s waterfront there is a totally separate lane leading on to the Tay Road Bridge. Last Monday I was heading home to Tayport along Riverside Drive only to be stopped at the Tesco entrance at exactly 5pm. I was in the correct lane unlike so many who chanced their luck in the left-hand lane, only to later indicate and push their car into the right-hand lane. So many near misses. Because of this it took me and everyone else in the correct lane 28 minutes to reach the Tay Road Bridge access. No mention was made of this on the Radio Tay jambuster line. When I eventually got home I searched my phone book and checked online for their number to alert them to the congestion. Couldn’t find it anywhere. Why not display it on the billboards? Goodness knows there are plenty of them en route! So, come on, traffic controllers and pushy drivers get your act together! Anne H F Lowe. 13 Nelson Street, Tayport. Biomass makes no sense Sir, Recent Courier reports relating to the proposed biomass plant in Dundee have focused on the health impact associated with emissions of nitrogen dioxide but what is never mentioned is the increase in local carbon dioxide emissions. No new coal-fired generation facility would be allowed in Scotland without carbon emission mitigation and yet people seem to be sleep walking into supporting a so-called biomass (wood burning) facility which also emits significant quantities of carbon dioxide. Both coal and wood-burning involve the oxidation of carbon to form carbon dioxide. In fact, a wood-burning generator emits almost 25% more carbon dioxide per kWh of electricity generated than a coal-fired generator would. In effect, Dundee would be importing carbon emissions from the countries from which the wood will be sourced. This makes no sense when we are ravaging our countryside with ever more wind turbines in an effort to reduce Scotland’s carbon emissions. Dr G M Lindsay. Whinfield Gardens, Kinross. Figures are dwarfed Sir, I wish to congratulate Steve Flynn on his excellent letter (Courier, April 11) on the inequalities of present government legislation. While most people do not wish to see illegal benefit claims made, these are dwarfed by tax dodging from the well-off and by reduced taxes, again, to people who are much more than comfortably off. Another group of people Mr Flynn does not mention are the directors of banks who, through inefficiency and cavalier decisions have cost the taxpayer billions of pounds yet, many are still being paid large bonuses and pensions. I am sure that the amounts of illegal benefit claims pale into insignificance when compared to these latter items. John Baston. 9a Seabourne Gardens, Broughty Ferry. It is a time to show respect Sir, Why should anyone want to organise a street party to celebrate the demise of a former prime minister? The only appropriate time to organise such a gathering was surely when that person left office(in the case of Mrs Thatcher, over 22 years ago). But dancing on the grave, so to speak, of the former leader is not just distasteful it is perverse. It doesn’t matter whether it is in the Durham coalfields, the republican streets of Belfast and Londonderry, or the centre of Glasgow or Brixton. Events like these don’t just diminish our reputation for tolerance, they undermine the whole texture of political debate and democracy. Respect for your opponents in time of personal difficulty and death is simple good manners and humanity. Nobody contests that Mrs Thatcher was a controversial figure. But the plain fact is that her attitudes and beliefs (honestly held and worthy of respect at a time of her passing), were subject to the test of the ballot box. For good or ill she was successful on three occasions. In the end it was her own MPs and Cabinet who prompted her resignation in November 1990. Bob Taylor.24 Shiel Court,Glenrothes.Remarks show a lack of classSir, I write with reference to your article featuring Labour councillor Tom Adams and entitled, A dram to toast the lady’s demise.I found the tone of the article to be in incredibly poor taste and I am very uncomfortable with the pleasure Mr Adams appears to derive from the death of an 87-year-old frail lady with Alzheimer’s. Mr Adams, of course, makes no mention of the fact that Harold Wilson closed three times as many coal mines as Margaret Thatcher ever did. Nor does he appear to apportion any responsibility for his plight as a young man to the militant NUM leader Arthur Scargill. Most of those in his party seem to accept that Mr Scargill and his fellow militants played a major role in the failure of the mining industry. That aside, his comments, coming from an elected member of Fife Council regarding Mrs Thatcher’s death are disgraceful and show a distinct lack of class. Allan D S Smith. 10 Balgonie Place, Markinch.

Fife

Dunfermline star Norrie McCathie’s death still serves as warning of ‘silent killer’

October 22 2015

The death of a Dunfermline Athletic footballer should continue to serve as a warning over the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning, a fellow club legend has said. Pars captain Norrie McCathie was found dead in his home on the outskirts of the town in January 1996. The 34-year-old was found alongside his girlfriend Amanda Burns, 26, after the small cottage they were sleeping in was filled with the poisonous gas. The accident prompted huge outpourings of grief and thrust the dangers of the “silent killer” into the public eye. Following a recent survey which suggests one in 10 Scottish adults has suffered the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning, Jim Leishman, McCathie’s former manager at East End Park, said the dangers of the gas are just as relevant today. “It was a tragedy and it was one of those things that could have been avoided,” Mr Leishman told The Courier. “Norrie was a club legend but it was also about two young people losing their lives. “It affected so many people. “Everybody at the club felt it but nobody more so than Norrie’s family. “I will always remember that day.” With no taste or smell, detecting carbon monoxide in the home is difficult and results in around 40 deaths a year. Symptoms of poisoning include dizziness and nausea, as well as vomiting and tiredness. Poisoning is often linked to faulty household appliances such as cookers, boilers and heaters. This latest research, conducted by Dunfermline-based Corgi HomePlan, took in a sample of 2,000 properties. The company’s study states that 58% of UK homes will not have a serviced boiler this winter, a simple process that could detect a faulty appliance. Corgi HomePlan director Kevin Treanor said: “Exposure, even at a low level, can lead to life-changing health problems, including brain damage, memory loss and depression. “Regular servicing of all gas appliances and installing a carbon monoxide alarm will vastly increase the safety and protection of UK homes.”

Road tests

Audi Q2 puts quality over size

March 21 2018

Audi’s Q2 was one of the first premium compact SUVs on the market. It sits below the Q3, Q5 and the gigantic, seven seat Q7 in Audi’s ever growing range. Although it’s about the same size as the Nissan Juke or Volkswagen T-Roc, its price is comparable with the much larger Nissan X-Trail or Volkswagen Tiguan. Even a basic Q2 will set you back more than £21,000 and top whack is £38,000. Then there’s the options list which is extensive to say the least. My 2.0 automatic diesel Quattro S Line model had a base price of £30,745 but tipped the scales at just over £40,000 once a plethora of additions were totted up. Size isn’t everything, however. In recent years there’s been a trend of buyers wanting a car that’s of premium quality but compact enough to zip around town. It may be a step down in size but the Q2 doesn’t feel any less classy than the rest of Audi’s SUV range. The interior looks great and is user friendly in a way that more mainstream manufacturers have never been able to match. The simple rotary dial and shortcut buttons easily trounce touchscreen systems, making it a cinch to skim through the screen’s menus. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4eQ5p5Z7-Ek&list=PLUEXizskBf1nbeiD_LqfXXsKooLOsItB0 There’s a surprising amount of internal space too. I took three large adults from Dundee to Stirling and no one complained about feeling cramped. As long as you don’t have a tall passenger behind a tall driver you can easily fit four adults. At 405 litres the boot’s big too – that’s 50 litres more than a Nissan Juke can muster. Buyers can pick from 1.0 and 1.4 litre petrol engines or 1.6 and 2.0 litre TDIs. Most Q2s are front wheel drive but Audi’s Quattro system is standard on the 2.0 diesel, as is a seven-speed S Tronic gear box. On the road there’s a clear difference between this and SUVs by manufacturers like Nissan, Seat and Ford. Ride quality, while firm, is tremendously smooth. Refinement is excellent too, with road and tyre noise kept out of the cabin. It sits lower than the Q3 or Q5 and this improves handling, lending the Q2 an almost go-kart feel. On a trip out to Auchterhouse, with plenty of snow still on the ground, I was appreciative of the four-wheel drive as well. The Q2 is expensive – though there are some good finance deals out there – but you get what you pay for. Few cars this small feel as good as the Q2 does. Price: £30,745 0-62mph: 8.1 seconds Top speed: 131mph Economy: 58.9mpg CO2 emissions: 125g/km

UK & World

This student took his Tinder profile to the next level by turning it into a PowerPoint presentation

February 21 2018

Standing out from the crowd on Tinder can be tough, but with the help of Microsoft PowerPoint a British student has managed just that – and gone viral in the process.Sam Dixey, a 21-year-old studying at Leeds University, made a six-part slideshow entitled “Why you should swipe right” – using pictures and bullet points to shrewdly persuade potential dates to match with him on the dating app. The slideshow includes discussion of his social life and likes, such as “petting doggos” and “laser tag”, and “other notable qualities and skills” – such as being “not the worst at sex” and “generous when drunk”.It even has reviews mocked up from sources such as “Donald Trump”, “Leonardo Di Capri Sun” and “The Times Guide to Pancakes 2011”.Sam told the Press Association the six-slide presentation only took about 20 minutes to make and “started off as a joke”.However, since being posted to Twitter by fellow Tinder user Gracie Barrow, Sam’s slideshow has been shared tens of thousands of times across social media.So, it’s got the seal of approval form Gracie, but how has the slideshow fared on Tinder? “I’d have to say it has been pretty successful,” Sam said. “Definitely a clear correlation of matches and dates beforehand to afterwards.“Most of the responses tend to revolve around people saying ‘I couldn’t help swipe right 10/10’ but I’ve had some people go the extra mile and message me on Facebook.“Plus some people have recognised me outside, in the library and on dates.”A resounding success.

Readers' letters

October 11: We will still require back-up power stations

October 11 2011

Today's letters to The Courier. We will still require back-up power stationsSir, €” The letter (October 7) by the Friends of the Earth chief executive Stan Blackley does not agree with the proposed coal-fired power station at Hunterston. In his opinion, the increased wealth of renewable energy sources will be more than adequate to meet Scotland's future electricity requirements. I am sure that many of the public, not forgetting the benefit of employment, would be more assured to have a relevant back-up of energy if the "wealth of eventual renewable energy sources" fails to adequately meet requirements. Perhaps Mr Blackley could challenge policies in various countries in order to obtain their support against coal-fired power stations. The response would be interesting. Harry Lawrie. 35 Abbots Mill, Kirkcaldy.Public not asked to choose nameSir, €” Your headline writer has done your readers a disservice by failing to check the facts about the naming of the new sports and leisure centre in Glenrothes (October 6). Fife Council did not at any time "ask the public to choose the name" of the new facility. The Glenrothes Area Committee, including Councillor Kay Morrison, unanimously agreed in May that the purpose of the survey was "to help gauge the views of the public on potential names for the new facility". If Councillor Morrison had wanted the results to be binding on the council, regardless of how many or how few people took part, she should have asked for this in May. She didn't. Your report also failed to mention the important fact that although every household in Fife was invited to take part in the survey, and although it was also promoted for over two months in the current FIPRE centre, in local libraries and online, only 174 people actually took part. Compare this to the thousands who made their views known when the late Michael Woods blew the whistle on a suggestion that Fife Institute could be closed down and sold off for housing, and it's easy to "gauge the views of the public". They're relieved that the institute is not being lost, they're delighted that the current administration is replacing it with a brand new facility, and they don't really mind what it's called. We have a long tradition in Scotland of naming important public buildings in memory of individuals who played a major role in having them built. Councillor Michael Woods played a huge role in making sure the current FIPRE site becomes a new sports and leisure centre. (Cllr) Peter Grant.Glenrothes West and Kinglassie. More to it than paying off debtSir, €” It is more than a tad worrying that the Tory Prime Minister David Cameron's grasp of economics is no better than your average mug punter putting all his money on a three-legged nag. Any successful economy depends on the free flow of money and not simply paying off all our debts. It is equally worrying that David Cameron should publicly give support to the Home Secretary Theresa May for uttering untruths about the Human Rights Act whilst chastising the Justice Secretary Ken Clarke. Malcolm McCandless.40 Muirfield Crescent,Dundee.Gas cloud risk not worth runningSir, €” It was with a sense of relief I read that the proposed carbon capture programme for Longannet may not go ahead. The prospect of 500 new jobs seems to have obscured the possible long term risks. The technology, as I understand it, involves storing liquid carbon dioxide at around 800psi in empty oil and gas caverns under the North Sea. Presumably we have to store this liquid forever in increasing quantities. Your report quotes a figure of 70 million tonnes by 2024. What happens if we get a leak? It is maybe unlikely, but the events I am thinking about are comparatively common: failure of a pipeline, an accident at a wellhead, an earth tremor or a volcanic eruption. Plus of course, an act of terrorism. Whilst carbon dioxide is harmless in very low concentrations, say 1-10 parts per million, it rapidly becomes highly toxic as concentrations increase. If 10% of these 70 million tonnes leaked out it would produce a cloud of carbon dioxide about the size of the UK. Of course it wouldn't be pure carbon dioxide it would be mixed with the atmosphere. However, even if it was considerably diluted it would still be an appalling danger. Bob Drysdale.Millfield Star,Glenrothes.Exploitation in sex industrySir, €” In your article about the lap dancing club bid (October 7) the Rev James Auld is reported to have said that he, "has no problem with the venture, providing workers do not feel exploited". It does not necessarily follow, however, that a person isn't being exploited just because they don't feel exploited. It is usually people who, for whatever reason, don't feel it who are exploited. If, as Dundee Women's Aid suggests, women in the sex industry are being exploited (and there is ample evidence) then it is worse, not better, that they don't feel that exploitation. So the Rev Auld ought to have a problem with this venture. Clare McGraw.12a Castle Terrace,Broughty Ferry. Get involved: to have your say on these or any other topics, email your letter to letters@thecourier.co.uk or send to Letters Editor, The Courier, 80 Kingsway East, Dundee DD4 8SL.

Readers' letters

What a price we pay for “democracy”

October 23 2014

Sir, It is not every Tuesday that some of us find ourselves in agreement with every word written by Jim Crumley, but this week he excelled in his article. The ruination of much of Britain, in particular Scotland, is quite appalling and his thin-edge-of-the-wedge argument over the ruination of Beauly is quite correct. Once the power line was allowed, against enormous opposition and a considerable number of accurate prophecies that this was only the beginning, we were doomed. Any sentient person is aware that Britain is going to run out of steam. The blatant refusal to think two decades ahead indicates the fatuousness of most political leaders. In the field of energy it will lead to disaster. The love of selling off the family silver to anybody, as long as they dwell and pay taxes abroad, has already wreaked irreparable damage to our economy. When any opposition to public vandalism is allowed to be heard, then it is dismissed as nimbyism. This is grossly unfair as the objections, all over Britain, are often very soundly based. When a local council dares to suggest the objectors may have a point and proceed to refuse planning applications it is almost invariably overruled by unelected officials in London or Edinburgh. What a price we pay for “democracy”! We have all the fuels for not only being self-sufficient in energy but having the ability to export it. The trouble is that the energy in question is carbon-based, but any exploration of this is thought by many to be even worse than questioning immigration policy. However, the technology is available, not only to use the carbon fuels but also to extract the toxics that are more than a potential worry. Oil companies ally with power suppliers to deny this. The Greens and other do-gooders loudly applaud from the sides. Again, the majority of us, who are not terribly rich, subsidise, through our taxes, the very, very rich, both at home and abroad. The current popularity of the SNP would suggest that whichever way we might have voted in the referendum most of us in Scotland are in one mind on the subject of preserving our heritage. Oh that a little sense and independent thinking might be found in more of our politicians. Robert Lightband. Clepington Court, Dundee. Looks like case of double standards Sir, What a difference a few months make. Last summer, Jose Manuel Barroso, the outgoing president of the European Commission, was hailed by unionists as the authoritative voice on an independent Scotland’s position in the EU. His word was gospel and unionists were quick to cite his opposition to an indepen-dent Scotland’s EU member-ship, as the final word. Fast forward a few months and Mr Barroso is now Johnny Foreigner, a jumped-up EU bureaucrat sticking his nose in the UK’s affairs. Unionists had the bare- faced cheek to cry fear and uncertainty over an indepen-dent Scotland, and now not a cheep from them over the uncertainty of the UK’s EU membership and all the risks to jobs and trade it will entail. Double standards springs to mind. RMF Brown. Markinch, Fife. It’s just money down the drain Sir, The SNP-dominated Scottish Government bought Prestwick Airport for £1 to save it from closure and pledged to invest £10 million into the airport, despite the previous owners losing £7 million a year. It is telling that no other companies were interested in buying it. In June, Nicola Sturgeon, then Deputy First Minister, announced a £7 million investment for repairs and improvements. Now Prestwick Airport is to be “loaned” another £10 million. Wait a minute, “loaned”, but the taxpayers already own this airport so when the plug is pulled then it is taxpayers’ money down the drain. Passenger flights at Prestwick Airport are as few as one a day so the airport has no future. By comparison the highly successful Glasgow Airport has 100 flights a day. I trust no more money will be ploughed into this politically motivated “white elephant”. The Prestwick Airport slogan “pure dead brilliant” was one-third correct the middle word. Clark Cross. 138 Springfield Road, Linlithgow. Nicola to head for Scone? Sir, Does the news that Nicola Sturgeon is to be endorsed as Alex Salmond’s successor at the SNP conference in Perth next month mean she will be nipping up the road to Scone to be crowned Queen Nicola? Robert T Smith. 30 Braeside Terrace, Aberdeen. Off the agenda? Oh really! Sir, In his letter, Time to face reality (Monday October 20), Dr John Cameron is being very presumptuous in suggesting “independence is off the agenda”. Presumably Dr Cameron was able to read the excellent accompanying letter from Ken Clark relating to last week’s Westminster debate on further powers for Scotland and suggesting that Scotland has perhaps been sold a “pig in a poke” by Messrs Brown et al. Whilst it is still early days, there is a groundswell of opinion suggesting that Westminster better deliver on its promises, in a realistic timescale, without conditions. If not, many who were borderline “no” voters, plus those who were persuaded by the late promises of more autonomy, may well become very disillusioned and start beating the drum again. As Tommy Sheridan said in his post referendum interview on BBC News: “The powerless realised they have power, we ain’t going back into the box.” Notwithstanding Mr Sheridan’s politics, his underlying sentiment will have struck a chord with many and those charged with delivering on their promises for the country should take note. Dr Cameron says: “It is time to face reality that independence is off the agenda.” Oh really! Keith Richardson. Melgund Burn, Aberlemno. Bags not the only problem Sir, Yes, one has to agree that plastic bags are a problem, but in the bigger picture just a “drop in the ocean”. When you look at the litter pollution problem where do they rate? When I cycle around the country roads there are more empty juice bottles, discarded coke tins, fag packets etc than plastic bags. Once again the establish-ment/politicians/do-gooders have come up with this “plastic bag drivel” and people are following like lambs to the slaughter and no doubt all giving praise and claiming to be nice people as they roll along in their carbon-fuel-guzzling pollution machines. Roy McIntosh. 9 Bankwell Road, Anstruther. The beach was left spotless Sir, An article and photograph in Monday’s Courier described the work of volunteers cleaning litter from the St Andrews beaches part of a UK-wide campaign to address this growing problem. I applaud the work done but I am saddened and appalled at the need for it. I holidayed recently at a French seaside resort with over a mile of sandy beaches. On Sunday the beach was packed with family picnickers etc. We did notice provision of showers, toilets and bins but in the evening expected to find the beach covered with litter and over- flowing bins. The beach and esplanade were spotless. Bins were full but covered and not spilling out. We found that people meticulously “binned” all their litter and cleaned up promptly after the many dogs exercised on the prom. What is wrong with people here that they can’t do likewise? Elizabeth Picton. 76 Hepburn Gardens, St Andrews.

Perth & Kinross

Volunteers urged to uncover the mystery of Moredun Top

July 14 2015

The chance to play a part in unravelling an archaeological mystery is on offer in Perth. A team led by David Strachan from Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust is planning detailed excavations to uncover the secrets of Moredun Top Hillfort on Moncreiffe Hill, Perth, in September with the help of volunteers. The fort excavation follows on from a dig on another fort on Moncreiffe Hill which unearthed ramparts and evidence of the lives of the ancient inhabitants. The project is being delivered through the Tay Landscape Partnership and it hopes to reveal the past of the familiar landmark. “Tay Landscape Partnership is looking for volunteers interested in archaeology and the nation’s past to help excavate the site and play an important role in allowing this project to happen,” said Mr Strachan. “No archaeological experience is required and full on-site training will be provided. “Moredun Top hillfort is the larger of two hillforts on Moncreiffe Hill, to the south-east of Perth. “The hill itself is a key geographical feature in the landscape, located at the meeting of the rivers Tay and Earn and so dominating the lower straths of both rivers. “The site is clearly multi-period with the remains of at least two forts of late Iron Age and/or early historic date, as well as traces of other buildings. “Its location exploits the naturally defensive cliffs on the south face of the hill, and affords extensive views of the surrounding landscape in all directions, truly dominating the landscape at the tryst of these important river systems.” Hillforts feature regularly on the landscape of the Ochil and Sidlaw hills and a number have been excavated and studied in the past. Many were undertaken by Victorian archaeologists, who had no access to carbon dating, but the sites are likely to have been used over a wide time-frame. The opportunity to play a role in unearthing the past is being offered free of charge to anyone aged 16 and over. For more information and to find out how to get involved visit www.taylp.org. The Tay Landscape Partnership is a four-year project celebrating the landscapes of where the Tay and Earn meet and is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Gannochy Trust, Scottish Natural Heritage, Perth and Kinross Council and other bodies.

Motoring news

Join the queue for littlest Audi Q

November 9 2016

Audi’s relentless release of new models continues with the launch of its smallest SUV. The Q2 goes on sale in the UK next week with prices starting at £22,380. There’s an extensive selection of petrol and diesel power trains as well as the option of front or Quattro four-wheel drive. More models will be added to the range later on, including powerful SQ2 and RSQ2 versions. Aimed squarely at a younger audience, the Q2 has bolder, sharper lines and a different shape to Audi’s bigger SUVs, the Q3, Q5 and Q7. Although it’s clearly meant more for buzzing around cities than growling across farmland, cladding and skid plates lend it an aura of ruggedness. Audi is also offering a range of vibrant colours to deepen the Q2’s appeal to youthful buyers. The interior is as plush as you’d expect from Audi, justifying its price hike over similarly sized SUVs like the Nissan Juke and Honda HR-V. The materials are high quality – softtouch plastics, leather on higher spec cars and brushed aluminium trim elements all blended into a smart-looking package. As standard, drivers get a seven-inch infotainment screen on top of the dashboard. It’s operated through Audi’s rotary dial system that’s far more intuitive and easier to use when on the move than rivals’ touchscreen systems. Among the many options is Audi’s excellent Virtual Cockpit - a 12.3in screen that replaces the manual instruments behind the steering wheel. Overall, the Q2 is 4.7in shorter than the A3 hatchback, but Audi says there’s enough leg and headroom for two adult passengers in the back. Boot space comes in at 405 litres – 50 more than you’ll find in the A3 hatchback and rival Nissan Juke, although it trails the Mini Countryman by the same amount. To begin with, the only diesel option is a 1.6 litre with 114bhp, although a more powerful 184bhp 2.0 litre unit will be added to the range soon. Similarly, the petrol engine range is limited for now but will be expanded by the end of the year. The 1.4 litre, 148bhp unit offered now will be joined by 1.0 litre, 114bhp three cylinder turbo and 2.0 litre, 187bhp options – the latter coming with an S-Tronic automatic gearbox. When it arrives the 1.0 litre petrol version will be the cheapest model in the range with a price tag of £20,230. Courier Motoring has yet to get its hands on the car but early reviews have been very positive and Audi looks to have yet another winner on its hands. jmckeown@thecourier.co.uk

Perth & Kinross

Plans to reinstate water power at historic castle

March 9 2013

A BID to bring back a hydroelectric scheme which once powered Blair Castle has been laid before council planners. The Croft Comrie Burn Diversion was originally created in 1908 to provide power for the Highland Perthshire castle and several properties on Atholl Estate. The estate trustees say that the re-establishment of the scheme will significantly reduce its carbon footprint. Agents for the estate, Campbell of Doune Ltd, said: “We should make it clear that this scheme does not involve the laying of significant length of new pipeline, due to the fact that the pipeline already exists, ready for use. “The required civil engineering works really are a light touch on the landscape, which enjoys the concerned and sensitive environmental stewardship of our client. “The trustees are forward-thinking and keen to reduce the carbon footprint of the trust’s activities. “The trustees foresee the small amount of civil engineering works required to bring the hydroelectric generation scheme back into production as of substantial benefit to one of Highland Perthshire’s largest visitor attractions, and of benefit to the nation as a whole through the generation of renewable electricity.” Atholl Estates originally built an aqueduct to carry water from the River Tilt tributary, Allt Slanaidh burn, to a holdingdam above Blairuachdar to supply a water-powered sawmill. Under the 8th Duke of Atholl, a hydroelectric turbine was installed in 1908 on the bank of the Banvie Burn, supplied by the holding dam. The pipeline still acts as a water feed for the castle’s fire hydrants. The original turbine house still exists and is said to be in generally reasonable physical condition, although the original Gordon and Gilkes turbine will be replaced with another of the same make to get the system up and running. The Kendal-based company has been making small hydro power systems since 1856 and has supplied more than 6,500 turbines to more than 80 countries. The estate already operates a pair of run-of-river hydroelectric schemes, opened in June last year. The systems one on the Dowally Burn with storage on Loch Ordie, and the other on the Broom Burn have a collectivegenerating capacity of almost 1MW, enough to power more than 250 homes. Other recent planning applications lodged with Perth and Kinross Council include: Alterations and extension to house and garage/barn, 5 Holding, Leadketty, Dunning Hutton. Erection of house (in principle), land 70m north-east of Cleish Mains Steading, Cleish Karen Fraser. Erection of house, plot next to 26 Holdings Coltward, Campmuir Peter Brown. Alterations and extension and erection of retaining wall, Littlerigg, Dunning Glen, Dollar Donald Turnbull. Erection of two signs, the Gateway Centre, North Methven Street, Perth PKAVS. Alterations and extension, Tulliegruggie, Tippermallo Road, Methven Ramsay. Alterations and extension to the Meadows, Vicar’s Bridge Road, Blairingone Fred Saunders. Alterations and extension, 4 Athollbank Drive, Perth Louise Cowling. Erection of a garden shed, 23 Hill Street, Crieff Brendan Gisby. Alterations and extension, Gowanlea, Pier Road, Kinross Stuart Brand. Erection of house (Approval of matters in condition 12/00284/IPL), land 350m north-east of Shieldrum Farm, Bridge Of Cally Ferguson and Thomson. Modification of consent (11/01989/FLL) Amendment to condition 1, East Cult Farm, Dunkeld the Trustees of the Eighth Earl Cadogan’s Settlement. Alterations and extension, Balhomie Farm Cottage, Cargill Shand Partnership Ltd. Erection of house, Teviot Dale, College Road, Methven Marshall. Modification of consent (10/01598/FLL) change of house type, Viewfield Cottage, Brucefield Road, Blairgowrie GS Brown Construction Ltd. arichardson@thecourier.co.uk

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